Incisive merges rival insurance magazines

By Ruth Addicott

Incisive Media has acquired rival magazine Insurance Age from Informa Group for £1.05m.

Incisive Media, which owns the personal finance titles Post Magazine and Professional Broking, said it would continue to publish all three independently despite fears within the industry of too much overlap in subject matter.

Tim Weller, chief executive of Incisive Media, said it was a “terrific bolt-on acquisition” and would strengthen the company’s presence in the insurance market.

Insurance Age launched in 1979 and is considered to be the best-known title in the industry after the weekly Post Magazine. Like Professional Broking, Insurance Age is published monthly and aimed at independent brokers. It has a controlled circulation of 22,000, the highest of any general insurance title in the UK.

Sources said the announcement came out of the blue and staff at Informa “didn’t get wind of it until Friday” and the initial response was concern over an imminent closure.

The move will result in an editorial shake-up at both companies. Post Magazine editor Ant Gould has moved up to editor-in-chief of Post and Insurance Age. Post news editor Jonathan Swift has been promoted to Post editor. Jonathan Whiteley, publisher of Post and Professional Broking, has stepped up to be group publisher in charge of all three.

Only one journalist from the original team on Insurance Age will transfer to Incisive Media – deputy editor Michelle Worvell. Insurance Age’s former editor, Jon Guy, will remain at Informa in a senior editorial role, leaving Gould to take responsibility as editor.

James Hanbury, managing director of Incisive Media, said the deal brought together the two most respected titles in insurance publishing and stressed there would be no closures. “Professional Broking is an important title and in no way is it subsidiary to Insurance Age and Post,” he said.

He added that readers were likely to read all three at different times of the month and said Incisive would review the portfolio once the move was complete. “We have all the talent and capabilities, we are going to let the dust settle first and let the staff get to know each other, then there could be further changes over the next few weeks,” he said.

Incisive also acquires Insurance Age’s annual awards which attracts around 400 professionals.

The deal comes a week after Incisive announced the launch of Wealth Magazine. Incisive also publishes Risk, Investment Week, Your Mortgage, Waters and Bloomberg Money.

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